Thursday, November 03, 2016

Mystery Writer Lisa Turner Visits Charlotte--

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's major literary fundraising event is scheduled tonight for its third annual appearance in the Verse & Vino, featuring presentations by award-winning writers.  Five authors are invited including one from the mystery genre--Lisa Turner.  The Library's Foundation department sponsors Verse & Vino.
Lisa Turner
(photo from author

On the Foundation webpage for Verse & Vino Featured Authors, it states that Turner "raced to the top of Amazon's Kindle bestsellers list with her first Southern mystery, A Little Death in Dixie.  Her second novel, The Gone Dead Train, was a 2015 Edgar nominee and continues to explore good characters who do wicked things.  New Release: Devil Sent the Rain."

Turner's novels are a series with Homicide Detective Billy Able, set in Memphis, Tennessee where she was born.  Described as suspenseful in tone, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has all titles in its collection.  And in addition to an author webpage, Turner has followers on Facebook and Instagram.  

For this evening, the Library Foundation expects more than 1,000 guests for the author event at the Charlotte Convention Center according to its fall newsletter.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Christie's "Hercule Poirot" series revived--

Agatha Christie
(photo from
To gain new life, an agreeable family estate may give permission for a new author to write new books about a character created by a deceased family member.  Apparently in the world of fiction, it makes no sense to permanently kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.  And that is the case for crime legend writer Agatha Christie.  Her brilliant retired detective Hercule Poirot is resurrected from the 1970's to return in print last year in The Monogram Murders.   The book is the March book club selection.

The new writer of the detective series is now Sophie Hannah and our library's online catalog features the following under Author Notes & Sketches (about her)Sophie Hannah was born in 1971 in Manchester, England. She is a bestselling, award-winning poet. Hannah went to the University of Manchester and published her first book of poems, The Hero and the Girl Next Door, at the age of 24. In 2004 she won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her psychological suspense story, The Octopus Nest. Hannah was recently chosen by Agatha Christie's estate to resurrect her beloved detective, Hercule Poirot. Her subsequent novel, The Monogram Murders, was published in 2014. (Bowker Author Biography)
Sophie Hannah
(photo from

Now, clearly the name recognition has to go the writer that the greater public knows so Agatha Christie's name covers the new mystery book cover in the same font you'd find on the official website of Ms. Christie.  Ms. Hannah is the new work horse for series and she'll be bound to be quite busy--with her writings and about "Poirot" for the foreseeable future.   

Sunday, November 30, 2014

P.D. James dies at 94--

On Thanksgiving Day it was announced that English mystery writer great P.D. James had died.  She was 94.  Her actual name (and title) was Phyllis Dorothy James White, Baroness James of Holland Park.
Although I hadn't read any of her work, I seem to recall a fondness   when others talked about James' Adam Dalgliesh in book club discussions about various book characters.  Dalgliesh, identified as   a police commander and poet, is a fixture with police procedural mysteries with novels published for numerous years beginning from  1962 (Cover Her Face) and television appearances. 

  Her writing spanned to a private investigator series with Cordelia  Gray (who I did see in a TV adaptation) and most recently with a  mystery set in 1803 featuring characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice novel  in Death Comes to Pemberley published in 2011.  Examining her beloved writing genre in print, she wrote Talking About Detective Fiction (2009) about the history and appeal of mysteries and an autobiography, Time to be in Earnest (1999).

P,.D. James (photo from
Dubbed the 'queen of crime' James enjoyed a rich recognition in writing circles for a long, successful career. To find any P.D. James books at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library click here, go to "advanced search."  Do an author search for "james, p.d." to find her books and books on CD.   

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ace Atkin's Carolina book tour swing--

Writer Ace Atkins stopped in Charlotte on an author tour on Wednesday and I was able to speak to him briefly and listened as he shared a few stories of his travels.  Atkins is the author of the Quinn Colson series which follows the work of a new sheriff in northern Mississippi.  He also writes the new adventures of Robert B. Parker's Spenser with three in print to date.  Parker died in 2010.

I told Atkins about my book club at the library and that we had read his second book of the Quinn Colson series The Lost Ones months ago (February of this year to be exact) and enjoyed it.  I wish had remembered to add that I would have suggested the book club read the first book of the series The Ranger--but the library system owned more copies of the second book.

Another comment I would have shared with the writer was that his book did bring us stateside for a story--and in the Souh specifically--after reading a number of books in England and elsewhere.
(I'm standing next to Ace Atkins during his visit to an independent
bookstore in Charlotte.  Our hands are resting on copies of his newest
"Quinn Colson" book The Forstaken which he was signing.)

I caught the tail end of the visit when the  discussion veered to talking "The Rockford Files" TV series starring James Garner.  Atkins was able to see some scenes filmed for one of the TV movies based on the series and also on a separate occasion got into a lengthy discussion with show creator (and novelist too) Stephen J. Cannell.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Library display entitled
"Summertime decisions"
(photo by blogger)
I have a new display up in my library's mystery section to promote that it is summertime now and for those into summer reading--now is the time to load up.  And I see it in action at work with some readers. Some walk out the building needing a clothe grocery bag for each arm. While some at least make a valiant effort to grab that one book that gets read during the year.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is well-underway with its annual summer reading program which is growing with activities and desirable gifts and incentives.  Whether getting a fine waiver card (from $5 to $10) or getting in the drawing for a new tablet, taking time to read has its benefits.  All age groups are included and the library is very wise to engage an interested public in reading.      

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The World Map Has a Mystery to be Found--

Over the years, the mystery novels the book club had selected and read have jumped around the
world with busy detectives--whether employed by law enforcement agencies or not--and
amoral criminals.  From Beijing in China (Peter May's The Firemaker) to Ghana in Africa
(Kwei Quaterey's The Wife of the Gods), the world is crowded with too many resorting
to murder.  In our regular meeting space, we have but to look up at the wall on the right 
to see a nicely-detailed world map that on occasion helps to find where in the world 
the novel is set.  Granted, most mysteries are stateside or in Great Britain but we are not
restricted with these spots with our monthly book club selections.

Take for instance Colin Cotterill's Killed at the Whim of a Hat in Thailand and Anne Holt's
1222: a Hanne Wilhelmsen novel in Norway which were scheduled a year apart.  These stories
are set in very different environments and the settings shape the tone of the novels.  Cotterill
looks for humor in human interactions while Holt's tale is somber in the cold environment.
It is ever bit of an adventure to read a good international mystery explore the world from
comfortable chair or couch.  And when desired it is helpful to find this certain locale on the
world map. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is celebrating its 2014 community read week event with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.  Various events are scheduled as everyone is encouraged to read--as possibly discuss at a scheduled library program--the classic science fiction title.  Click here for the events at area libraries and elsewhere. 

I had considered looking at the book for the mystery book club--as library book clubs were encouraged-- but our April date was set.  And the book is far from a standard mystery story so I don't want to buck our book club orientation.  All the same, this American classic fiction book is one worthy of reading, discussing and thought.